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Tag Archives: Guilty Pleasures

What Lies Beneath (an iPod)

Greatest Hits Volume I (Barry Manilow album)

“It’s not mine, it was planted!”

I was thinking the other day (it hurt, I don’t want to talk about it) and among the marvellously perverse things involving dwarves, shoes and vodka that popped into my mental peripherals, I also got to thinking about what my greatest fear in the world is. I used to be utterly petrified at the thought of turning into my mother, but seeing as I’m already half way through that process, I’ve had to learn to get over it. I also used to think that my greatest fear was of paper cuts on the eyeballs (it totally could happen and it would be utterly terrifying), but there is now one thing that has taken over as le fear formidable (go back and read that last part in a French accent please, it sounds better). My greatest fear is losing my iPod.

I don’t particularly care for the cost of the thing; I had just enough of a hippy upbringing to know that money comes and goes and Apple products may do also, and neither one grants instant and everlasting happiness (ok, I’d be mightily irked at misplacing a £200 gadget – I’m not made of money!) What would really bother me about letting my iPod out of my clutches, is the horror that someone else would be able to see my entire musical collection and therefore have unadulterated insight into my appalling, shameful taste in tunes. The illusion of my being anything near cultured and refined would forever be shattered like an abandoned warehouse window.

I have never understood what sort of over-confident freaks casually proffer their personal playlists at parties, eagerly handing over their iPod to the resident DJ (recognisable as the sad little git in the corner, bobbing his head earnestly and wearing shades in-doors, who swapped social skills for high-top trainers), so that the best and worst of their musical collections can be laid bare for all to judge. I’m convinced they’re either an evolutionary jump in human egotism or they have two iPods; one fit for human consumption and another one that they actually enjoy. I’m not fooled. For every cool Ibiza DJ or as-yet-undiscovered indie rock band, I know there’s a Cheeky Girls album lurking cheeky-cheekily somewhere in their possession.

On every first date I have ever been on, there comes a time when my stomach flips like a Burger King employee; not the moment the charming chap walks through the door of the restaurant (seedy bar), or leans in for a tender kiss (full tongued snog), oh no, it’s the moment that they nonchalantly ask what music I’m in to and if they may peruse my pod of i. No you may certainly not! They may as well ask if they can rummage through my undercracker drawer, and quite frankly, I think that would be far safer for all concerned, a lot less intimate and far more chance of a second date (or at least a goodnight fumble).

I shudder every time I see a Spotify shared music link on Facebook or the “np” (now playing) hashtag on Twitter that tells all and sundry exactly what someone’s ear worm du jour (French accents on again please) is at that very moment. For now these are an optional tool for flaunting your musical enjoyment via social media, but how long until we’re forced to openly declare the contents of our iPod closets, and the skeletons of a hundred boy bands come tumbling out?

You may be wondering why I am so shy when it comes to my music preferences, especially when I’m never so shy with an opinion, and because I’m clearly one of such impeccable taste and with a well manicured finger firmly on the pulse of all that is credible in today’s cultural marketplace, but the reality of it is, my guilty pleasures have way overtaken my quality control and anyone who looks to my playlist for some insight into my persona will be left with the urge to call mental health professionals for my removal from the streets of decent society, which in turn will discredit all my hard work at harshly judging my fellow humans. My quest for a world without cretins will therefore be brought crashing back to square one and for why? All because someone saw Barry Manilow lurking in my iPod.

In amongst my more creditable musical choices, I will confess to having questionable “gems” such as The Spice Girls, which was forced upon me by a misguided relative. Ok, I bought one album for myself. Fine, I bought both at the same time but it was a drunken mistake. Alright, alright, I set out to buy them and I still dance around my flat to them, slamming it to the left and whatever-ing it to the right, but who doesn’t love the Spice Girls? They’re a symbol of hope to all talentless pop tartlets everywhere, teaching us that success can be yours if you wear high enough shoes.

I did actually slip up the other night and inadvertently let my boything hear that I possess, and know all the words to, the soundtrack of the movie Footloose. I pretended this was the worst of it and we both silently agreed never to speak of the moment again but I have to say, relations have been awkward since then and he can no longer look me in the eye. Or hold my hand… Or return any of my calls. Oh well, it’s best he found out now and not further down the line when I’d tried to merge our CD collections and Britney Spears raised her embarrassing head.

I think I’ve said too much.

From now on I’m going to have to keep an extra close eye on my iPod, lest it fall into the wrong hands, and by wrong hands, I mean anyone with the ability to become the music police (not Sting’s band) and pass judgement on my crimes against taste and lyrical prowess. Failing that, I could always turn the concept into an award-winning psychological horror movie and see if Las Ketchup will provide the soundtrack.

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